Scott Brinker unveils his most populous Marketing Technology Landscape yet

Today, Scott Brinker took another step toward the final destination of his legendary Marketing Technology Landscape.

That final destination, of course, will be a Landscape where the logo of each marketing, advertising and search solution on the planet will be written on individual atoms.

Brinker, the lead author of this annual exercise, is Conference Chair of our MarTech Conference, which is now taking place in San Jose, California, and which was the venue this morning for the unveiling of this year’s Landscape.

The atomization of the Landscape appears to be inevitable. The new version has 27 percent more logos than last year’s. In all, the current Landscape shows 6,829 marketing solutions from 6,242 vendors in 48 categories.

In numbers, that means over 1,500 martech solutions added over last year’s. If this growth keeps up, the laws of physics will soon be called into action.

“I’ve been tracking the martech sector and building these landscapes since 2011,” Brinker told me via email.

“This year’s landscape is equivalent in scale to all of the landscapes I produced from 2011 through 2016 combined (I didn’t do one in 2013).” Here’s Brinker’s visualization of this year’s scale:

He added that many analysts have been predicting consolidation in the field but, “at least in terms of the number of vendors, that empirically hasn’t happened.” Only 4.5 percent of the companies in the 2017 Landscape are not present in this year’s.

While some companies are acquired or go under, Brinker noted, many more take their place.

Or, as he puts it in a related blog post: “Water continues to flow into the martech tub faster than it’s draining out.”

Of course, he pointed out, the solutions are not all equal. A few are large, and many are smaller or newborn startups. And new categories emerge, such as this year’s “Bots and Live Chat” and “Compliance and Privacy.” One category — “Predictive Analytics” — bit the dust, since machine learning is adding prediction to almost everything.

The real reason the Martech Landscape keeps growing, Brinker suggests in his post, is that “we’re putting more flesh on our digital customers and striving to serve them in more human ways.” In other words, marketers and vendors keep finding new ways to communicate with consumers and other businesses, expanding the total number of solutions every year.

But there are a couple of possible ways to avoid the eventual need for atomic microscopes to see all those annual additions.

That’s because the Landscape — which was created this year in collaboration with Anand Thaker of IntelliPhi and Jeff Eckman of Blue Green Brands — is also available as an Excel spreadsheet and a super high-resolution version [registration required].

About The Author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.